August 31, 2009

Dawgs get some good injury news

With the season-opener against Oklahoma State now just five days away, 13th-ranked Georgia received some good news on the injury front Monday afternoon.

Starting center Ben Jones was back at practice after spraining his ankle 13 days ago, an excellent sign that he will be able to start Saturday's contest against the Cowboys after all.

Jones' return wasn't the only good news.

Starting left guard Chris Davis was also back and practicing after spraining his ankle just over a week ago.

"They looked good," head coach Mark Richt said after Monday's workout at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility. "The got most of their work against the scout team, but they were able to get a good tempo."

Richt said both Jones and Davis will start against the Cowboys.

The news was somewhat better regarding running back Caleb King.

Although he still wore a green non-contact jersey, King was able to participate in some drills with his teammates and appeared to be running without much of a problem.

"Caleb's getting a step closer," Richt said. "He's still not out of it for this game yet, but it he can't move around good by Wednesday will be tough."

If King is able to travel, it's expected that he would slide into No. 3 on the pecking order at running back behind Richard Samuel, Carlton Thomas and Kalvin Daniels. Richt said Monday he will take four halfbacks to the game. If King can't go, either redshirt freshman Dontavius Jackson or true freshman Washaun Ealey will make the trip instead.

• In other injury news, defensive end Kiante Tripp (shoulder) was back in his green, non-contact jersey, although redshirt freshman Neland Ball (patella tendon) was able to return. Linebacker Akeem Dent was also back practicing with the team after battling a hamstring issue.

Richt feels Dawgs almost ready

The Bulldogs practiced in full pads for the final time before Saturday and Richt liked what he saw.

"I would say today was a good day," he said. "It was our last day in full pads, our last day in tackling drills. It's about time."

Richt added that he believes his team is ready for the challenge that lies ahead.

"I think the guys are beginning to sense it," he said. "I think they are starting to feel the excitement and I'm seeing a little more animation from the guys in practice. (Tuesday) we're in shells then two days in shorts, a little crowd noise and we'll be ready to go."

Gundy explains media break

The way Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy put it, he was doing the media a favor when he decided to put a 10-day kybosh on interviews two weeks ago.

"The reason we did it was because we had 16 open-media practices in a row. I felt like 16 opportunities in a 29-opportunity practice schedule was a quite a bit to start with," Gundy said. "I noticed that the questions became very repetitive. It was the same thing over and over and over."

Gundy said he felt he was doing the press a favor.

"I thought this is crazy; you guys should be home at dinner. It gave you a chance to be home by 5:30 or 6, not hanging around up here until 8 o'clock at night," he said. "I saw the players somewhat fatigued in that area. I felt like it would be better off for us to separate for eight or 10 days until we got to the week of the game."

This and that

• Richt said that he will take three fullbacks to Stillwater. Along with starter Shaun Chapas, Fred Munzenmaier and Justin Fields will also make the trip. Richt said that Munzenmaier could also get some looks from halfback.

• Richt said he has not decided whether or not Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, or both would make the trip.

• Backup Logan Gray will definitely play against the Cowboys.

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